There’s a saying in the American South: “The higher the hair, the closer to God.” And though I’m not one for religion, I find that when I need a little faith, a big bouncy blow dry does the trick.
Big hair gets attention. It helps you take up space. It’s unapologetic. Think of the 90s Vidal Sassoon ads – babes striding down the high street all confidence and swagger. Think Dolly giving her boss what for in 9 to 5. Think Beyoncé at the Superbowl. Whether it’s to ask for a raise, meet-up with an ex or you’re just having a crap week, big hair can give you an extra few inches of kick-ass. Go big or go home, I say.
Sali Hughes’s column turned me on to this and I love it on thin, flat, Caucasian hair. If yours is too soft to hold curl, don’t condition on days you want body. Or condition before you shampoo.
Girls with black, curly or dry hair wanting volume should first concentrate on condition. This curl definer helps all kinds of curl and is reasonably priced for a big tub.
Mousse served obediently throughout the 80s, the ultimate decade of big ass hair. I still think it’s best for volume – curly or straight – and refuse to pay royally for it. Look for ultra, strong or extra firm hold – don’t waste time with medium. Use a golf ball squirt per six inches of length, mostly on roots.
Salt spray is my thickness secret weapon – it even gives straight hair texture and grip, without weight, and works better than any thickening cream. The trick is to go light – like you’ve taken a stroll along the shore, not a dunk in the sea – then blow dry properly. Bumble & Bumble surf spray is the gold standard, but this is almost as good and is a hell of a lot cheaper.
There’s no denying the genius of a BaByliss Big Hair stying brush – it takes the hard work out of Tami Taylor bounce and shine. But I find, on heavy or flat hair, it offers no root lift. I prefer my old-fashioned boar-bristle cylinder brush and elbow grease. Blast hair 80 per cent dry, focusing on your roots first. Then slowly blow out sections from root (from below) to ends (from above).
This stuff means business. It’s like Batiste XXL dry shampoo on uppers. Spray into your roots from a good four inches away then backcomb for all-night height.
Do not fanny around with a plastic comb – for Dolly-level volume in seconds, tease it to Jesus with a proper backcomb brush. They’re embarrassingly cheap on eBay. To avoid damage, gently tease hair back to its natural state, from tip to roots, at the end of the night.
You may think I’ve lost my mind, but this is Kardashian approved and their hair game is undeniable. Brunettes can dust their parting with an ashy-toned brow powder to hide any flash of scalp and cheat thickness. It works, although probably best left for nights out and the odd selfie.